“I feel so proud of myself for what I have achieved"
Two days after Christmas 2021 Ethel Barasly (Clare to her friends) felt especially fat and ugly and she knew she had to do something about it so she joined GetSlim and began her incredible weight-loss journey.
Name: Ethel Clare Barasly
Height: 5ft 7in
Weight before: 15st 10lb
Weight now: 10st 6lb
Clothes size before: 22
Clothes size now: 14
Total weight loss: 5st 4.5lbs (34.6Kg)
My weight loss journey by Ethel Barasly
When I took early retirement from my job in 2017 I weighed 18.5 stones, I had high blood pressure, was pre-diabetic and had just had both knees replaced due to chronic osteoarthritis. This was not the most I have ever weighed – when I was 50 years old I weighed in at 19.5 stones.
On retirement I joined a well known weekly slimming club and managed to lose 4 stones – dropping to 14.5 stones and thereby reversing my pre-diabetes with my blood sugars dropping well into the normal range. It was a slow process – taking me 3 years to lose this weight – constantly yo-yoing up and down, but I felt proud of myself. The “unlimited free food” policy of the slimming club did not teach me anything about portion control and discipline and I justified my lack of continued success by telling myself that at my age I shouldn’t expect to get much slimmer. The simple truth was I was eating too much.
Unfortunately, in 2020 Covid19 struck and my weekly weigh-ins at the slimming club came to an abrupt end when we went into lockdown. My diet changed during lock down and like a lot of people my weight increased during this period, and I was growing more and more anxious that I would put all of the weight back on. My diet now consisted more of convenience food like pizza, and I was eating biscuits and cakes which I knew were bad for my blood sugars but this didn’t stop me from over-eating. I felt disgusted with myself; I had low self-esteem and did not really take much pride in my appearance.
My weight was constantly on my mind to the point where it was the first thing I thought about on waking each morning.
Two days after Christmas 2021 I felt especially fat and ugly and knew I had to do something about it. When I thought about all the weight I had lost and put back on over the years I finally reached a decision – I had to either accept that I was obese and just get on with life or do something about it once and for all. I decided on the latter.
“The simple truth was I was eating too much”
During lock down my brother-in-law had been diagnosed with motor neurone disease and was bed ridden so my sister (his carer) and I were in effect still in a Covid bubble as he needed to be protected from infection. In the circumstances, going back to slimming classes was out of the question so I looked online for inspiration.
The “GetSlim” website was advertising a special post-Christmas offer – the first three months access to the website for just £12. This seemed like a bargain so both myself and my sister signed up for the trial period. We decided to weigh in together each Sunday morning. This is something we still do and I have found this a great way to keep on track.
The website was very inspiring with a selection of diets to choose from. The four week rotation of the Fasting Revolution appealed to me and I would get three full months on the diet plan for my initial period so I decided to give it a go. When I started my weight loss journey with “GetSlim” I weighed 15st 10lbs.
I found the Fasting Revolution surprisingly easy to follow. I have discovered I respond well to having a more structured eating plan and the discipline of counting calories inspired me to be creative with my food choices. I was determined not to cheat during this three month period. I have always been a meat eater, but I decided to change my diet to include more plant based foods which I found on the whole contained fewer calories that the meat equivalents. I still eat fish regularly and have chicken about once a month but no red meat. Each morning I would put my milk allowance into a small bottle, and I weighed and recorded everything on my “GetSlim” food diary every single day - even my salad vegetables.
My determination paid off – by the end of the third month I had lost almost 2.5 stones and I weighed almost a stone less than the lowest weight I had reached at the slimming club. Just before the end of the third month I moved from the “obese” zone into the “overweight” zone. I never thought I would be so pleased to be classed as “overweight”! During this period, I also started walking around two miles a day, gradually building up my stamina. I had extended that to around 5 miles per day by the end of the third month. I felt fitter and healthier than I had in years, my joints no longer ached, and I had dropped two dress sizes – from size 22 to size 18. I was very happy with my success and decided to carry on using the “GetSlim” website. I then set my final weight target to 12½st and reached this on 12th June. I felt so pleased with myself that I adjusted my target again – this time to get to 11st which would put me well into my healthy weight range. I changed my diet plan to a regular 1200 calories per day and now and then I would include the first two weeks of the Fasting Revolution to give me a boost. I reached 11st at the beginning of October. I have set my new & final target to 10½st.
At time of writing, I weighed in at 10st 8lbs and I am down to dress size 14. That is a total weight loss of 5st 2½lbs. I have not been this weight since before the birth of my daughter – 38 years ago. If I had set my target at 10½st at the beginning I don’t think I would have been successful - I have found that setting myself small achievable targets has helped me to keep going. Each target reached had inspired me to carry on – achieving results that I never thought possible.
“I found the Fasting Revolution surprisingly easy to follow”
In the past year I have discovered different foods that I would never have thought of trying. I start my meals with a mug of miso soup – low in calories but surprisingly satisfying and warming. My main meal is usually accompanied by a huge salad – the bigger the better.
My salads are made up of 9 different vegetables –lettuce, cucumber, tomatoes, red onion, celery, radishes, grated carrot, grated courgette and raw spinach. Not only are they low calorie but they take a long time to eat – making me feel more satisfied. I have also discovered shirataki noodles – a low carb low calorie substitute for egg noodles – great for those 650 and 700 calorie days on the Fasting Revolution.
I feel so proud of myself for what I have achieved, but I am very wary of becoming complacent. I know that deep down there is still a fat person trying to get out so for that reason I will continue to record everything I eat on my food diary – even when I am no longer looking to lose weight. "Thank you “GetSlim” – I could not have done it without you".
Words by Ethel Barasly
At the time of publishing Ethel had reached her goal weight and now weighs 10st 6lb
*Weight loss results can vary